Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #535 
April 21, 2014

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


The next educational event that I will be teaching at is California Clown Campin' in July. They are working on finalizing the class schedule now so I will soon be able to announce the topics of my classes that I will be teaching there.


In today's main article I refer to the Staff on Stage shows at Clown Camp. That feature has been included in California Clown Campin'. Every morning begins with a performance by one of the instructors. In addition, the group attends the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus one evening to observe their clowns in action. The group is able to go to a private room before the performance to meet some of the clowns and other entertainers.


Another advantage to the California Clown Campin' program is that the price is all inclusive. Three meals are provided each day. The staff and participants all eat together providing lots of opportunity to ask questions and share ideas.


To learn more about this program click on the link under the educational opportunity column.



I will see you down the road,



In This Issue
Thought For The Week
WCA Convention Coverage
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

April 21, 2014

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson



"A star is not something that flashes through the sky. That's a comet. Or a meteor. A star is something you can steer ships by. It stays in place and gives off a steady glow; it is fixed, permanent. A star works at being a star." - Jim Murray


I have seen new entertainers perform some wonderful creative routines. Their fresh perspective allows them to see things more established entertainers over look. However their fresh perspective will only take them so far. Many of those bright new entertainers don't last very long. They discover that it is hard to follow up on their initial success. They become discouraged when they attempt other routines that don't get the same level of response. They quickly burn out and go on to other interests.


A star develops consistency. You know what to expect from them, and they usually deliver. They are dependable.


I had the pleasure of being on the World Clown Association Publication Committee this past year and voting for the 2013 WCA Author award. Aurora Krause won first place. The committee identified the best article that she wrote for Clowning Around during the year. However, she did not win on the basis of that article alone. She won because she is a frequent contributor to the magazine of articles that are consistently well written and useful to the reader. That consistency makes her a star among the contributors to the magazine. Her articles are usually among the first ones that I read in each issue.


Staff on Stage performances were part of the Clown Camp program. These were shows, often solo performances, by instructors. Whenever I was on the Clown Camp staff I eagerly looked forward to Kenny Ahern's Staff on Stage appearances. I knew that I would enjoy them. Kenny had established a high standard of quality for himself and usually met or exceeded it. He had some routines that he had worked years to perfect. I first saw him perform his hat scaling act in 1988 when he was touring with the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus Blue unit. I think the most recent time I saw him perform it live was at Clown Camp in 2009. I enjoyed it every time I saw him perform it, and was disappointed if he didn't include it. His performances also often included a new routine. I remember him tap dancing while wearing a pair of stilts. I remember seeing him perform a sentimental adagio routine with his daughter Natalie. During his last Staff on Stage at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse he introduced a new version of the Mirror routine using an audience member as his partner. His performances were always entertaining and inspiring.


Kenny is an excellent example of the kind of work required to remain a star. He worked over many years to develop a core of routines that form the basis of his shows. He has gained confidence in their success because he can rely on the audience response to those routines. He also works continually on new routines to keep his show fresh and to challenge himself as an artist. I know that he continues to learn by reading articles and studying video. That commitment to continuing education and developing new material is important to remaining a star. It provides fresh fuel so you don't burn out.


A star also attempts to discover a fresh view point. When you forget how something is supposed to be done, you can often find a better way to do it. To me that is an advantage to teaching variety arts. Often a comment by a student will start me looking at something in a new way. Often combining their idea seed with something I already perform grows into a hybrid that is an improvement upon both.


How can you work to become and remain a star? How can you consistently deliver high quality? How can you perfect some of what you do? How can you refuel so you don't burn out? How can you develop new material? How can you discover a fresh viewpoint? Where can you find new sources of inspiration? Where can you gain more knowledge?





World Clown Association Convention Coverage



The recent World Clown Association Convention received a lot of media attention, including a photograhper who is working on a book about conventions.  Some of his photos have been posted on line.  There are two photos of Aurora Krause in this collection.  You can view them using this link.


World Clown Association Convention Photos

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I hope to see you down the road.


Bruce Johnson
Charlie's Creative Comedy
Copyright 2014 by Bruce "Charlie" Johnson.
All rights reserved. 
Educational Opportunities

I believe in promoting any event I will be lecturing at.  If you schedule me for an educational event that you are hosting, I will list it here.  My goal is to do what I can to best meet the needs of you and your group.

 California Clown Campin'

July 21-27, 2014

Ontario, CA


to be announced


California Clown Campin'

For information on additional services that I can provide for an educational event 

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